steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"The Acid King" CDR


Genres: noise, pschedelic noise, experimental

PO Box 936
Northampton, MA
01061 USA

July 8 - 15 2002

Crackhouse was a collaboration between Erik Amlee and David Gilden that took place in the late eighties and early nineties.  The duo got together to record experimental soundscapes onto tape.  Comprised of guitar noises and tape manipulation, they came up with a number of pieces that were later reissued on the Mandragora label.  Thus, two albums were born - the first, I, and now, The Acid King.

The Acid King contains eight tracks, ranging from the (surprisingly "accessible") guitar terror of "Gary's Rotting Corpse" to the crazed sampling antics of "Hassan's Rumpus Room".  While the noisy experimentalism may be a strain on the ears to those who aren't familiar with the style, those who are interested in it will find this to be a treat.  Influences range from Merzbow to If, Bwana, from Mammal to MSBR, and, of course, everything in between.

My favourite piece was definitely the title-track, a haunting soundscape that slides through distorted crashes and electronic roars, constantly shifting the pitch and ringing imaginary bells.  During the course of the piece, the duo show their true love for intergalactic soundscapes.  It is this lust for sounds and noises that fuels Crackhouse's music.  Although there's nothing accessible on The Acid King, and there certainly isn't anything remotely catchy, Amlee and Gilden excel through mood - completely abstract, yet insanely powerful noise emotions.  While they aren't the next Merzbow, they're noise masters in their own right.


Matt Shimmer